First Nations people from Australia, Yukon to dance together in bushfire fundraiser

People of the Yuin Nation gather at Gulaga on December 1, 2019 to celebrate unity through traditional dance. Picture: Albert McKnight
People of the Yuin Nation gather at Gulaga on December 1, 2019 to celebrate unity through traditional dance. Picture: Albert McKnight

Two continents will join together when First Nations people from Australia dance at the same time as Indigenous Yukon people for a bushfire relief fundraiser.

This weekend's Umbarra 'Black Duck' Corroboree Fundraiser aims to raise money for people affected by the NSW bushfires and bring rain and healing to the country.

"We want to give to our Indigenous communities affected by the fires," Djiringanj elder and organiser Warren Foster said.

"We hope to raise money for people, especially the mob in Mogo and communities there.

"We will distribute it to each family who lost something."

Mr Foster said he had been told many in the Indigenous Australian community around Mogo had lost their houses, but the community had pulled together.

"They all banded together and came pretty strong together," he said.

The corroboree, which in Djiringanj language is 'bunaan', is being organised in conjunction with Mr Foster's niece Ashleigh McGuire, poet Meaghan Holt and Indigenous people from the Yukon.

First Nations Yukon people will dance on their country at the same time as those in the corroboree on NSW's South Coast and two Yukon people will also dance in Australia.

"Hopefully it builds a good friendship between us two countries and two people," Mr Foster said.

"Hopefully it does a lot of healing for both our countries, because they are in a similar situation to us here, fighting for rights.

"Hopefully it does a lot of healing for us, and is just about coming together as a people."

The event follows on from the bunaan in December at the foothills of Gulaga, which drew a massive crowd and over 100 dancers.

"We're pretty lucky here and thankful no fires came close," Mr Foster said.

"We believe why we weren't affected here was because we done that big ceremony up at Gulaga.

"Every time the fires came near, Gulaga draws in rain and stops it."

The fundraiser will take place at Moona Moona Beach, Huskisson on Saturday, January 25 with First Nations people gathering at 10.30am for the run down and the yarning and healing circle will start at 12pm.

Non-Indigenous people can attend and observe respectfully, but will not take part in the sacred song and dance routines.

For more information visit the event's Facebook page.

This story First Nations people from Australia, Yukon to dance together in bushfire fundraiser first appeared on Bega District News.

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